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19 Feb

Profiteroles with Vanilla Almond Cream

profiteroles

Profiteroles, or cream puffs as they are called here in the states, are a classic French dessert. You will most likely find them filled with a sweet whipped cream and garnished with a dusting of powdered sugar or hard caramel. My favorite is the latter version. I vividly remember going to the patisserie in Paris, and blissfully enjoying this light and filling pastry. I love the chewy texture of the Pâte à Choux (cream puff dough) the soft cream filling and the crunchy texture of the hard caramel glaze.

Pâte à Choux was one of the first desserts that I made and photographed after acquiring my first DSLR camera. It was also the first time that I realized that becoming a pastry chef may be well suited to me. Pâte à Choux may look daunting, but if you follow the steps to creating it, it is a very simple dough with extraordinary results. The dough is very elastic and sticky, but once you pipe out those little rounds and place them in the oven a little bit of magic happens. When the dough hits the hot air, the profiterole (cream puff) dough begins to rise to form a "puff", enabling you to fill them with a sweet and delicious filling of your choice. Be sure to bake them until they sound hollow when baking sheet is lightly tapped on, or they will deflate and you will ultimately have flat cream puffs (a lesson I learned once or twice).

Once the puffs have cooled, you can slice them in half (you will notice that they are hollow inside), and fill them with the vanilla almond whipped cream you made from our previous post. The profiteroles can then be drizzled with a rich chocolate sauce or dipped in a sweet and crunchy caramel glaze.

 

Profiterole Dough

Ingredients:

Directions:

Heat the milk, butter and vanilla bean scrapings in a medium sauce pan until hot. Slowly add the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is formed and the dough begins to leave a film on the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2 -3 minutes, stirring constantly. Take pan off heat and let sit for a few minutes until it comes close to room temperature. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until the egg is incorporated. Continue with the remaining eggs. The dough will be very sticky and shiny in the end.

Spoon into a piping bag with no tip. Pipe into round mounds all the same size and width.

Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes. Turn the oven off and let sit in the oven for 10 more minutes.

Cool to room temperature

*Assembly

Cut the cream puff in half, and fill with vanilla almond whipped cream

Drizzle with a simple chocolate sauce, or before you fill the cream puffs, dip the tops into a hard caramel sauce.

Hard-Crack Caramel Glaze

Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 cups vanilla sugar
    • 3/4 cup water

Directions:

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring to boil and cook to hard-crack stage on your candy thermometer. Continue cooking until the sugar-water mixture becomes a medium amber color. Carefully dip the tops of the unfilled cream puffs into the caramel-sugar mixture. Place the puffs upright on a surface to let the caramel harden. Once cooled, fill with vanilla almond whipped cream.

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